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57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Sep 19, 2013
    75
    Populaire plays like a musical - you expect anyone, at any time, to break into song.
  2. Reviewed by: Bruce Ingram
    Sep 12, 2013
    75
    Populaire has no interest in rewriting the rules of romantic comedy, but it does run through the expected paces with admirable style.
  3. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Sep 12, 2013
    70
    It’s aggressively charming, and competitions and training montages are filmed with kinetic whimsy. The film’s chief triumph is in spinning something remotely thrilling out of something as inherently dull as speed typing.
  4. Reviewed by: Liz Beardsworth
    Aug 30, 2013
    60
    Offers plenty of easy nostalgia and Duris charm.
  5. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Sep 5, 2013
    60
    The best scenes are the contests in which the competitors hammer away, executing the kind of grand flourishes with each return of the carriage that Liberace exhibited at the piano.
  6. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Sep 4, 2013
    58
    A candy-coated French throwback to the Hollywood rom-coms of the ’50s — especially the ones starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day — Populaire is old-fashioned in more than just its pastel color scheme.
  7. Reviewed by: Jordan Mintzer
    Mar 5, 2013
    40
    For all the earnestness with which the filmmakers replicate the muted colors and attitudes of the post-war era, they ultimately fail to say anything truly interesting about either the past or the present, resulting in a work that feels as superficial as it does slick.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Sep 10, 2013
    7
    Taking a page from other French films, Populaire is a whimsical yet adult French comedy with enough going on beneath the surface to make watching it unique despite its similarities to other French films, most notably 2011's Romantics Anonymous. Populaire tells the story of Rose (Deborah Francois), a young French woman who moves from her small village life to the hustle and bustle of the big city in 1959 to become a secretary, a job she finds difficult and to avoid getting fired she agrees to take part in a typing competition, something that may bring Rose and her boss Louis (Romain Duris) closer. While not as polished and delightful as Amelie or the aforementioned Romantics Anonymous, Populaire does charm you from beginning to end thanks to its three fantastic lead performances by Francois, Duris and Bernice Bejo as Louis old friend and ex lover. Most of the credit goes to Francois who manages to make her often childish character realistic and moving thanks to her ability to read the subtleties of a scene. She manages to be quirky and adult at the same time, an admirable feat. The scripting is clever as it incorporates the idea of a society still recovering from the devastation of the war almost 15 years on as well as the the desire to modernise, something we are still feeling today. The film uses the war to add colour to its characters, especially Louis who unlike the conventional war veteran has no fear of what he saw, just everything waiting for him back home, especially Marie (Bejo). It's a rose tinted film so it does turn a bit saccharine towards the end but it is to be expected from a French film about love, it has to end well. Expand
  2. Sep 6, 2013
    6
    A throwback to the Rock Hudson and Doris Day comedies of the 50's this is a light and frothy French concoction that washes over you. There is a good period feel, but the best parts are the actual typing competitions which are very entertainingly filmed with real zing. The camera movement for these sequences even manages to evoke mild tension. Sadly any other emotion is lacking from the rest of the film. It's also way too long! Expand

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